Witch hazel extract infused with spring plants makes for a lovely skin tonic. Crafted with herbs that are wonderfully nourishing and soothing to the skin, it can be used as a daily facial toner or utilized to ease a number of skin woes.
Dab on to spot treat acne or pour into a spray bottle and spritz on insect bites & stings, sun burns, rashes, and other inflamed, itchy skin conditions. It’s a wonderful herbal remedy to have on hand as the weather warms and you’re spending more time outside and are thus, more likely to experience some of these skin issues.
Most of the herbs in this infused witch hazel are common weeds in the northern United States. Enjoy a nice spring walk and you will likely be able to forage most, if not all, of these plants.
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is a popular ornamental plant that is cherished for its beautiful and aromatic blossoms. It’s also a lovely addition to skincare preparations as it is anti-inflammatory and toning to the skin. It is also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect skin from premature aging due to environmental damage (Woźniak, 2018). Check out this post to learn how to make a lilac toner.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flowers are shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Research shows that they lend significant protection against UVB damage (Yang, 2015).
Violet (Viola odorata) is moisturizing and gently toning. It has been used for a number of skin issues, including acne, rashes, hives & eczema.
Plantain (Plantago major) is a valuable ally when it comes to healing skin. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antifungal properties and helps promote the regeneration of skin tissues (de Cássia et al., 2019). It also has the ability to help protect the skin from UV radiation (Nizioł-Łukaszewska, 2019).
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is cooling and calming to the skin, reducing inflammation and easing itching.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) has long been cherished as a soothing remedy for a variety of skin issues. Its cooling quality makes it particularly helpful for “hot” conditions, like burns or boils. It has also been used to promote healing of wounds and skin infections (Ilina et al., 2020).
Witch hazel extract is distilled from the twigs and bark of the witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) tree. It is astringent and toning to the skin and is utilized topically to help reduce inflammation and swelling in a number of skin conditions.
To make this springtime skin tonic, you will need:
- 2 parts lilac blossoms
- 1 part dandelion flowers
- 1 part violets flowers
- 1/2 part plantain leaves
- 1/2 part chickweed
- 1/2 part cleavers
- Witch hazel extract
Fill a jar 3/4 full with your spring plants. Pour witch hazel extract over top, making sure to cover the plant matter by at least an inch.
Cap tightly and shake well. Set in a cool, dark place. Let infuse for at least 2 weeks, shaking daily.
Once it has infused, strain out the herbs through a cheese cloth. Rebottle the infused witch hazel in glass bottle or jar. Be sure to label it, indicating that this infusion is not for internal use.
de Cássia Israel Cardoso, F., Peruzzo Apolinário, P., da Silva Cunha Breder, J. et al. A protocol for systematic review of Plantago major L. effectiveness in accelerating wound-healing in animal models. Syst Rev 8, 337 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-019-1255-6
Ilina, T., Skowrońska, W., Kashpur, N., Granica, S., Bazylko, A., Kovalyova, A., Goryacha, O., & Koshovyi, O. (2020). Immunomodulatory Activity and Phytochemical Profile of Infusions from Cleavers Herb. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(16), 3721. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163721CopyFormat:
Woźniak, M., Michalak, B., Wyszomierska, J., Dudek, M. and Kiss, A. (2018). Effects of Phytochemically Characterized Extracts From Syringa vulgaris and Isolated Secoiridoids on Mediators of Inflammation in a Human Neutrophil Model. Frontiers in Pharmocology, 9: 349. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904404/#B4
Yang, Y. and Li, S. (2015). Dandelion Extracts Protect Human Skin Fibroblasts from UVB Damage and Cellular Senescence. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4630464/
Nizioł-Łukaszewska, Z., Gaweł-Bęben, K., Rybczyńska-Tkaczyk, K., Jakubczyk, A., Monika Karaś, Tomasz Bujak,
Biochemical properties, UV-protecting and fibroblast growth-stimulating activity of Plantago lanceolata L. extracts,
Industrial Crops and Products, 138, 2019.
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